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Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - AUTOMOTIVE INSIDER -

BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraSummer's imminent arrival means your vehicle's air conditioning system will soon be under serious strain.

If your A/C isn't as frosty as it used to be, but it's still blowing cold, the system may need to be recharged.

Manufacturers used to use a type of refrigerant known as R-12, or Freon, until researchers found it caused ozone depletion. As such, it's illegal to use Freon in vehicles built after 1994. Now, manufacturers use R-134a to keep things cold in the cabin.

Working on an air conditioning system is about as much fun as sticking your hand in a blender. Twice.

Unless you are skilled in vehicle maintenance, it’s safest to take the job to a professional.

An AC compressor is usually driven by your vehicle's serpentine belt, and as it spins, it pressurizes the system's refrigerant. It's this change in pressure that cools the air coming into your cabin. The best way to keep your compressor from failing is to have your A/C system serviced once a year.

If your compressor needs replacement, most responsible shops will recommend swapping out a number of periphery components at the same time.

Why? The easy answer is working on an air conditioning system is about as fun as sticking your hand in a blender. Twice.

To avoid draining your refrigerant, removing your compressor, installing a new unit and refilling the system with new cool stuff — only to have you come back in a week and say it's still not cold enough — it makes sense to replace the necessary components.

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie



Brought to you by Mike Nielsen of Snap Fitness - FITNESS INSIDER -

SNAP FITNESS - Mike NielsenAs the inspirational saying goes, “Live less out of habit and more out of intent.”

While it’s true that starting a fitness routine can be difficult, I offer the following tips to get you in the gym door and on the road to good health.

Assessment — New SNAP Fitness clients receive a free jump-start session, including consultation with a trainer. The assessment determines the client’s baseline, helps us guide their first steps, and is an opportunity to discuss adding personal training.

Cardio — The national recommendation for exercise for all ages and fitness levels is to get to the gym at least three days per week, and to do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio per visit. Working out with a friend will make it more fun, help you feel more accountable, help you stay at the gym for more months and achieve a higher level of success.

Strength training is key to replacing fat with muscle, becoming leaner, stronger and improving balance. Do two to three sessions of strength training per week.

Nutritional guidelines — Instead of eating three large meals per day, eat five to six small meals. This will fuel your energy throughout the day and avoid post-meal sluggishness. Also drink 96 ounces of water daily.

Online help — SNAP has a complete online nutritional program and training center. Free with membership, it provides a personalized workout plan, sample menus and a complete library of instruction videos.

Snap Fitness

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.



Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170



Brought to you by Mike Nielsen - Snap Fitness - Fitness INSIDER

Mike Nielsen, Snap FitnessStrength training is an essential part of an exercise program, even for someone who hasn’t been active in a while.

Lifting weights, using weight machines and doing core work increases muscle mass and bone density.

As we age, our muscles deteriorate (called sarcopenia) and bone density decreases.

Research shows that seniors are more susceptible to bone breakage that younger adults. As people age, their metabolism slows down. We are seeing more and more seniors joining gyms.

If we take the average adult between the ages of 40 and 50 and do basic strength-training three to four times per week for 90 days, the outcome can be life-changing.

Here’s a myth-buster: Muscle does NOT weigh more than fat! A pound is a pound. 

Muscle is, however, more dense than body fat and takes up less area than fat. If you were to start an exercise program complete with strength training, you would increase your lean body mass and decrease body fat.

The body takes up less space and metabolism speeds up, resulting in a higher BMR (base metabolic rate, the amount of daily caloric intake needed to maintain LBM and weight.) This reverses sarcopenia and increases bone density.   

Not everyone walks into a gym and knows exactly what to do. Snap gives new members an opportunity to meet with a Certified Personal Trainer, who assesses their body and their goals. 

Let’s get started.

Snap Fitness

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.



Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170



Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - AUTO MAINTENANCE INSIDER

John Sciarra, Bernard's GarageRegular maintenance on your car is, quite simply, a good investment.

For example, when you bring your car in for a timing belt — typically needed at 90,000 to 100,000 miles— it costs in the range of $400 to $500. But if it breaks, it might be $1,800 to $2,000.

At our shop, when we do it, we do it right. With the timing belt, we also replace the timing belt tensioner, idler pulleys, camshaft seals, water pump and coolant.

Mileage interval maintenance, which is only done by shops, should be done at 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000 miles.

The ideal scenario is to get the car into the shop about three times per year for inspections, which will find things like rodent damage, which is more common than you might think. It’s mainly squirrels in this area.

An inspection will also uncover leaking coolant or oil, as well as plugged-up air filters. Once a year, you should get a brake inspection.

We do complete automotive repair, including pre-purchase inspections for $150. That’s a comprehensive inspection, which can detect unforeseen problems and save you from buying a compromised vehicle.

Our average cost for an oil change is $38; $58 for a brake inspection.

It’s a small investment. We do it properly and can save you a lot of trouble and expense down the road.

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie



Mike Nielsen - Snap Fitness - Fitness INSIDER

SNAP FITNESS - Mike Nielsen“We are a friendly, success-oriented fitness center,” says Mike Nielsen, vice president and co-owner of Snap Fitness locations in Oregon City, Milwaukie and Canby. “We’re like the ‘Cheers’ of the gym world, where everybody knows your name.”

Nielsen has been a certified fitness coach for 13 years and has been with Snap for eight years. He says being a fitness coach is all about helping individuals achieve the best version of themselves.

“It’s not just something that’s done at the gym, but it’s a lifestyle change,” he said of Snap. “We focus on not only the physical but also the mental and emotional aspects of everyday life, to make sure we are able to achieve long-term success.”

He says Snap gyms have a family feel and a personal touch.

The gyms are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with monitored access for safety. Snap has more than 1,500 locations nationwide.

The fitness centers offer cardio, personal training, weight-loss programs, a health center, strength training and Olympic lifting. An online web page for members offers nutrition counseling and an online training center.

“Our members are our greatest assets,” Nielsen added. “We do all we can to make sure they have not only the best facility and equipment, but a wonderful experience.”

Snap Fitness


Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.


Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170


Canby: 1109 SW 1st Ave.


Brought to you by John Sciarra - Bernard's Garage - AUTOMOTIVE INSIDER -

BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraAfter nearly 100 years of providing excellent full-service automotive repair and maintenance, Bernard’s Garage is a classic Milwaukie institution trusted by generations of customers.

Founded in 1925, old timers and area residents still remember Joe Bernard Sr., who would design and build custom car parts when his customers’ vehicles needed it. Joe Bernard Jr., a former Milwaukie mayor, helped modernize Bernard’s and continued his father’s tradition of excellent customer service.

The current owner, Jim Bernard, another Milwaukie mayor and current Clackamas County commissioner, has computerized Bernard’s—turning his father’s mechanics into today’s technicians.

Besides providing free pickup and delivery, Bernard’s offers DEQ repair and adjustments, check-engine light diagnosis, manufacturer-scheduled maintenance, brakes, steering and suspension repair, timing belt tune-ups, radiator and water pump work, as well as engine, transmission and air conditioning service.

“We are straight shooters and will let you know what the problem is and what the cost is upfront,” Operations Manager John Sciarra says.

Sciarra, an 18 year veteran of Bernard’s, has attained numerous specialty vehicle class certifications. With 26 years in the industry overall, Sciarra is our INSIDER for automotive excellence.

Bernard’s Garage is a 17-year-long supporter of the Milwaukie Farmers Market, a Milwaukie First Friday participant and frequently donates to the Annie Ross House, Milwaukie Senior Center and other local schools and events.

A member of the Clackamas County Chamber of Commerce since 1955, Bernard’s has been named Business of the Year twice since 2000, and has received the BRAG award from the county for practicing responsible recycling and waste management.

Bernard's Garage 

2036 SE Washington St, Milwaukie, OR.

(503) 659-7722


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K.T. Emerson is named athletic director at Milwaukie, while Jesse Eveland returns to his alma mater

by: JOHN DENNY - Milwaukie Athletic Director K.T. EmersonK.T. Emerson, 35, an educator in the Lake Oswego School District for the past 13 years, has been named athletic director at Milwaukie High School, replacing Jesse Eveland.

Eveland, 35, who became Milwaukie’s athletic director in 2011, has taken the same position at Rex Putnam High School, replacing retiring athletic director Daniel Barendse. A 1997 graduate of Putnam, Eveland has returned to his alma mater.

“It’s been my absolute dream to be athletic director since I was 16 years old,” Emerson says. “I came from a big high school in Southern California and I was always amazed at how our administrators knew everybody’s names and what we did outside athletics. My athletic director engaged with us as athletes and students, and encouraged us to pursue our dreams.”

Emerson attended Capistrano Valley High School in South Orange County, Calif., where she excelled in volleyball.

“We had 12 seniors on the team and 11 played Division I,” Emerson said.

Emerson excelled for her high school team as a middle blocker. Her senior year she was a first-team all-league player on a Capistrano Valley team that placed fourth in the California big-school state championships and she was selected to the Orange County All-Star Team. She was Capistrano Valley volleyball team captain and most inspirational play her junior and senior seasons.

Emerson says that, in high school, she played against Olympians Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings.

Emerson received a full-ride scholarship to play volleyball at the University of Portland, playing both outside hitter and — after an injury — defensive specialist. Her senior year she was named team captain.

Emerson received a degree in elementary education from the University of Portland in 2001, and a masters degree in 2009. She earned her administrative certification last spring.

Emerson has taught elementary education in Lake Oswego for the past 13 years. For the last four years she’s been a kindergarten teacher at Oak Creek Elementary, where she started the full-day kindergarden program in 2010.

She’s coached club and high school volleyball since 2001. She helped start the Athena Volleyball Club in Beaverton in 2003 and she has been involved with the club as a coach for most of the past 13 seasons, coaching mostly 18’s teams.

Emerson was head volleyball coach at Lake Oswego High School from 2004 to 2008 and she’s been a varsity assistant in the high school volleyball program at Lake Oswego for the past five seasons.

“When I came to Lake Oswego the [high school volleyball program] was near the bottom of the league,” Emerson says. “We’ve turned things around. Four year’s ago we were top 16 in the state, last year we were top 10, and the year before that we were top eight.”

Emerson says that hosting clinics, camps and open gyms, and getting involved with youth before high school were keys to the turnaround, and she believes the same thing can help turn struggling sports programs around at Milwaukie.

Emerson says she sought out the administrative position at Milwaukie because of the school’s emphasis on and success at addressing the whole student.

“Milwaukie’s had so much growth,” Emerson said. “Test scores are rising, graduation rates are up and the school’s been winning awards for focussing on the whole child. I want to be a part of that, encouraging students to realize their dreams and helping them find success.”

Emerson lives in Beaverton with her husband Jesse, a civil engineer, and their children Adeline, 7, and William, 4. She says she’s talked with her husband about moving closer to Milwaukie, perhaps in another year.

“I’m here for the long haul,” she says.

When hired at Milwaukie, Eveland said, ““Loyalty is big for me, and Putnam will always have a special place in my heart. But our assistant superintendent gave me some good advice. She said, ‘You have to root for where your paycheck comes from.’

“I’ll never forget about my roots or look down on Putnam. But I’m definitely a Mustang now.”

Eveland is back wearing the green and gold colors of his alma mater and rooting for the Kingsmen.

Eveland went to work at Putnam after graduating from Concordia. He taught special education behavior management classes, math, and health, while also serving as assistant coach in baseball for six seasons.

He worked in Putnam’s student management office for three years, and he served as an assistant to athletic director Daniel Barendse for two years, before becoming athletic director at Milwaukie.